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Advent Thanksgiving: Six reasons to love The Fades

fades montage armedbasterds tumblr

brilliant fades montage from armedbasterds tumblr

My Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – you get the idea.

1. Buy Local

It was on the BBC and it was British. Not that I like programmes less when they are imports, but I do like them more when they are ‘local’ because then I get to be proud, and I get all the references (I forgave all of Torchwood’s dodgier moments when it was filmed in my hometown, because there was always a chance I’d see my mum in the background).

I was guilty of not expecting much of this because it was British, though – I’m not in the habit of associating the BBC with quality supernatural drama, regardless of Doctor Who. I gave The Fades a try because most of my Twitter stream kept mentioning it, and my Best Friend With Reliable Taste saw it and thought it would be my thing. He was right. Everyone was right. The Fades was a beautiful, clever, scary series, and when the DVD comes out I’m going to buy it and watch it all over again. Now that they’ve impressed me, I do hope the BBC capitalises on my good will and rolls out some new stuff that isn’t bollocks next year, too.

chris skins fades joseph dempsie2. Chris From Skins resurrected.

Albeit as an evil people eating thing. I still haven’t forgiven Skins for, um, for what is too spoilery to mention. And I hid behind my hands whenever the camera panned over to the underground zombie-egg sacs. But if someone had to climb out of a squirming zombie egg sac and eat people, I’m glad it was ChrisFromSkins. I’d missed him.

nardini fades daniella3. Anna from This Life

“The truth is, all this, it’s simple. Either the world will end, or we’ll stop him, or something stronger will come along that can…”

Daniella Nardini! As a gun toting priest with supernatural healing powers, who sicks up moths. Miles would not have approved.

4. Fade Into You

I like the concept of the fades, as a very urban spirit-zombie cross, skulking around roofs and desolate car parks. This pic is Spooky Natalie, the ghost girl who follows Paul around, either trying to befriend him or trying to kill him. It’s hard to be sure. Her disjointed, walk-0f-the-dead shuffle isn’t far removed from the slouching of living teens or nonchalant models, which is kinda charming.

I’m more comfy with charming than ‘argh! What was that!’ terrifying, or ‘zombie egg sac!’ gross, which there was also a lot of. Some bits I didn’t look at the screen for. I’m glad they were there, happy for the people who like that kind of stuff and don’t get much of it on tv – I’m a wuss, that’s all.

jay fades sophie wu

5. Jay. Swoon.

I have such a girl-crush on Jay. No wonder Paul’s in love with her. Check out his geek-romance confession (thanks to Bleeding Cool for the transcript)

Paul: Me and Mac discussed who our ideal girl was the other days. We decided Queen Amidala crossed with Marion Ravenwood, Princess Airwin, Ororo Monroe or Storm as she’s commonly known, George Lucas

Jay: George Lucas?

Paul: Well the sex wouldn’t be up to much but the pillow talk would be amazing. We also had Alan Moore on the list but we decided his beard too big. Anyway, my point, is, was, is, when we were discussing our female mashup, there was only one girl on… in, my mind. You.

Jay: I’m quite drunk.

Paul: And I say this because should I ever disappear I’d want you to know. I’d want you to know, and now you do.

Jay: Come on, let’s go find somewhere private.

Paul: Private… why?

Jay: Private is a euphemism. I’m making a euphemism. I don’t know who Alan Moore is and you don’t know what going somewhere private means., I guess that makes us somewhat even.

Paul: You don’t know who Alan Moore is?

6. The pop culture references

Paul: Would you say everything you’ve ever learnt about was from films, Mac?

Mac: No. Television been doing some important work for me recently. And then there’s the whole complicated – nay, thorny – issue of internet pornography…

The Alan Moore conversation is just one of the pop culture references that Paul and Mac’s dialogue is loaded with. Every one of them made me grin, especially the mention of Susan Cooper in episode one. I re-read The Dark Is Rising this year, and my love for her is still strong.

Paul: I’m thinkin’ Pratchett. If I could get anyone to write my life story… Pratchett.

Mac: Hey, you’re walking very quickly…

Paul: No, okay. Um, a mix. Pratchett’s wit, definitely. Alan Moore’s soul, and um… Susan Cooper’s plotting.

Mac: Clive Lewis’ heroism, and Tolkien’s slightly twisted sexuality.

Paul: Tolkien had a twisted sexuality?

Mac: The Eye of Mordor. The man was clearly petrified of vaginas.

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Advent Thanksgiving: cool kitchenalia

grr argh buffy whedon apronMy Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – and today, novelty kitchenware.

Firstly, if you’re going to be preparing food then you’d best wear an apron. What better way to express your love for all things Whedon than with this jaunty ‘Grr Argh’ apron from Cafepress? They also have a ‘Browncoat’ apron, which would be brilliant if only it were brown. Call me OCD but I couldn’t wear a lemon yellow apron with the word brown on it, though I would like to see someone try to get Jayne Cobb wearing one. Shiny.

star trek enterprise pizza cutter think geek

Suitably apronned, you may now adopt a devil-may-care approach to cutting pizza, perhaps using this AMAZING Enterprise pizza wheel. I would have to hum the Star Trek music while slicing, and I just know I’m going to think of the clever pizza/Picard pun that’s eluding me *after* I publish this.

r2d2 peppermill think geekPizza too bland? Not enough spice? R2D2 to the rescue, in the form of this peppermill. It probably doesn’t beep and warble when it grinds – but it should. death star cookie jar think geek

Two Star Wars options for dessert – you know the Empire would have the best sweets, full of delicious, nasty sugar and over-processed flour. Remember the edible clone troopers I linked to before? Darth was breathless and puffy from diabetes, not evil. Whereas the rebels would be all hemp and granola, not a snickerdoodle in sight. Here’s a Death Star Cookie Jar from thinkgeek, and a Darth Cake tray from Incredible Things. Luke, I am your baker.

darth vader cake tin

Lastly, somewhere to stash any leftovers. Bento boxes aren’t really my thing, as they seem to only be for tiny portions, not the Bowley-sized hunks of food I prefer. Anything from Studio Ghibli is always good, though, and this Ponyo bento box is super kawaii. I’d have difficulty eating anything fishy from it, though, without feeling like I was eating one of Ponyo’s sisters. Vegan treats only.

ponyo ghibli bento box

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Advent Thanksgiving: Nico and Warhol as Batman and Robin

andy warhol nico batman robin photo esquire 1967 c. Globe Photosandy warhol nico batman robin photo esquire 1967 c. Globe Photosandy warhol nico batman robin photo esquire 1967 c. Globe Photos

My Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – you get the idea.

Have you already seen these? Quite possibly the best photos I’ve seen this year (thank you Chris) these were shot for Esquire in ’67. I’ve been searching for an explanation, ideally an accompanying article, but can’t find much. It seems to be a stand alone photo shoot, presumably in tandem with Warhol’s excellently titled film, Batman Dracula.

andy warhol nico batman robin photo esquire 1967 c. Globe Photos

The Throwing Muses gig I blogged about last month was in the same venue as a free exhibit, Warhol is Here, at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. What a way to spend the evening – we had fish n chips, Kristin Hersh, cold beer on a moonlit balcony over the sea and Andy Warhol. Very special. I hadn’t seen the three prints below, and they are now my favourites, especially the one for Chelsea Girls.

warhol levis poster

warhol women in revolt

Chelsea Girls poster warhol

 

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Advent Thanksgiving: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

daughter of smoke and bone laini taylor coverMy Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – you get the idea.

This one’s  a no-brainer. If you haven’t already seen my gushing review of this for the BFS, click here to read it.

When I started doing book reviews it was because I thought it would be cool – I’d just joined the British Fantasy Society, and when they tweeted that they needed more reviewers it seemed an ideal way to get involved. Plus, hey, free books!  I was right, it is cool, and perhaps book reviewing should get it’s own Advent Door as it’s definitely made 2011 fun. I’ve discovered new writers and read great books I might not have found out about otherwise, often before they were published. It’s connected me to other reviewers with similar tastes, and now I review for Slacker Heroes too.  It’s hard to believe that this time last year I didn’t have a blog and hadn’t ever reviewed a book (except out loud, ranting, raving or recommending to my friends).

But when I offered to get involved with reviews there was another factor, apart from coolness and book-greed. Hope. I knew that Laini Taylor and Stacia Kane (two of my favourite writers) both had new books out soon. I didn’t expect it to work out, but I crossed my fingers and squinted my eyes up and hoped I might get to read one of them early. I was willing to risk reading bad books by other people if it meant I was in with a chance of getting one of theirs. I didn’t think I actually would, but you gotta hope, right?

daughter of smoke and bone laini taylor fan art

But I did! Hope works, people! The reviews person at the BFS had approximately 90 seconds grace between sending out the ‘Would anyone like to review ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone‘ and getting a shrieking, capitalised response from me, begging for the review copy. Which I got. W00t!

I then panicked that the book might not be as good as I hoped, that my high expectations would sour it, and I left the book on my table for a while. I worried. Then finally I began, and loved it. Phew. I still want more Dreamdark books, and I miss Magpie and her band of crows. But Karou and the warring angels were a sumptuous substitute for the sequel to Silksinger (ooh, so many Esses) and now I have two Laini Taylor series to recommend. Marvellous.

(Just need someone from Harper Collins to send me an ARC of Sacrificial Magic now… #cheeky).

Here’s a great trailer for the book, and another link to my review.

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